NotesFAQContact Us
Search Tips
Peer reviewed Peer reviewed
Direct linkDirect link
ERIC Number: EJ1220549
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2019-Jul
Pages: 16
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0013-1954
Justifications for Choices Made in Procedures
Maciejewski, Wes; Star, Jon R.
Educational Studies in Mathematics, v101 n3 p325-340 Jul 2019
In any procedural mathematical situation, there are multiple ways of achieving the same answer. Given this observation, we ask, why choose one procedural solution over another? We address this question here with data drawn from interviews conducted with university students engaged in row-reducing matrices. During their tasks, the students voiced a variety of justifications for the procedural steps they enacted. Through a phenomenographical analysis (Marton, "Instructional Science," 10, 177-200, 1981) of their utterances, we construct a framework for justifications for choices made within procedures with two broad categories, algorithmic and anticipatory. By comparison, this is similar to the creative/imitative reasoning framework of Lithner ("Educational Studies in Mathematics," 67, 255-276, 2008), a framework primarily emerging from less procedural settings. We suggest that, given this richness in justifications brought forth by a procedural setting, when used effectively, instruction in mathematical procedures has the potential to contribute to deeper, more flexible forms of mathematical knowledge overall.
Springer. Available from: Springer Nature. 233 Spring Street, New York, NY 10013. Tel: 800-777-4643; Tel: 212-460-1500; Fax: 212-348-4505; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A